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SEEMS LIKE A 'WINDFALL' IS IN EYE OF BEHOLDER

Jan 1, 2001

Mobile Register

On the front page of the Dec. 20 Register was a picture of one of the lawyers representing the State of Alabama against Exxon Mobil Corp. in a lawsuit where a jury of 12 citizens of this state were convinced that Exxon Mobil defrauded the state by intentionally underpaying royalty payments due to it.

It was suggested in the accompanying article that documentary evidence was produced to the jury that exposed Exxon Mobil's decision to proceed with the fraud, which was that Exxon Mobil believed that those responsible or calculating the receipt of the money were too ignorant to catch the fraud. In bold letters next to the picture were the words: "Lawyers get windfall."

Sylvester Stallone gets $20 million per film and the media applaud chutzpah or making that demand. Alex Rodriguez gets $252 million to play baseball and the media applaud his talent that garners such a price tag. An ophthalmologist buys a laser machine, which makes him a millionaire overnight, and the media applaud his God-like contribution to the health of the community.

If the author of the caption "Lawyers get windall" would go to a major university and acquire a four-year degree while making extraordinary grades; make a superior score on an entrance examination, allowing him to go to a respected law school, with rigorous standards; graduate in three years with honors; pass a grueling three-day examination, testing all of his knowledge acquired at that law school; spend 25 years trying hundreds of jury trials, working 60 hours per week; take a case representing the entire state against a global corporation because the attorney general will not undertake the tasks; spend enormous amounts of time and millions of dollars to prepare for and try the case (and if he loses, he gets nothing), then maybe he too can have a "windfall."

D.E. "Skip" Brutkiewicz, Jr

Mobile

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